Monday, February 16, 2009

Cleaning Up Beacon Hill

Perhaps the day will come soon when trash is not on the side of my street for 42 hours of each week.

The Beacon Hill Civic Association is pressing yet again for what's called "same-day" pick up, which means neighbors are required to place their trash on the curb only on the day it is picked up. The trash trucks roll through Beacon Hill starting at 7 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Same-day pick up means no trash will be allowed on the street before midnight on those days.

I am a big fan of same-day pick up. With it, the time that ugly, unsightly trash bags will be on the sides of neighborhood streets will be cut in half. (The 42 hours number above is derived from trash being permitted at the curb from 5 p.m. on-- the current rules.)

The Beacon Hill Civic Association is circulating an online petition to gauge neighborhood support for the same-day concept. I have signed it.

In reality, there is a portion of the state sanitary code that requires trash to be outside of homes only on the day of pick up, the BHCA is asking for enforcement of this portion of the code. (Hence the language of the petition).

Of course, same-day pick up is only effective if Boston's Inspectional Services Department can enforce the law. A similar effort eight years ago was not successful, primarily because the green tickets ISD issues to trash scofflaws are not enforced strictly in the city.

City Council President Mike Ross, State Representative Marty Walz and others support a state law that will give Boston new ways to enforce green ticket penalties. The law suffered on the Governor's desk last month and was subject to a pocket veto. I am hoping it will be passed, and signed, later in 2009.

I also recently spotted the video below of a new street sweeper that the city is investigating. It uses far less water than a typical street sweeper. It's great that Boston Public Works and Transportation Chief Dennis Royer is investigating these types of new vehicles.

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